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Responding to the announcement by the government today (Monday) that it has accepted the recommendations of the Low Pay Commission (LPC) to freeze the rate of the minimum wage (NMW) for young people from October, TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said

'The LPC should have been bolder in its recommendations. Even in the current economic climate there was room for an increase in the minimum wage that at the very least kept pace with inflation and earnings.

'It is wrong to deny young people an increase this year, as there is no evidence that the minimum wage has had an adverse impact on jobs. The reason why firms have not been hiring enough new workers is because they lack confidence in this government's ability to set the UK on course for a sound economic recovery. There is now a real danger that young people will view minimum wage work as exploitative.

'Many of the businesses that are calling for the minimum wage to be frozen are also complaining about the lack of consumer spending. Boosting demand is vital - but this will not be achieved by squeezing the low paid even further.

'Low-paid workers, like hairdressers, shop workers and care assistants, tend to spend 100 per cent of any salary increase in their local economy, so a well-judged rise in the minimum wage would have a beneficial effect across the UK.'

Written by Scott Buckler
Monday, 19 March 2012 11:11

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